A vegetable oil-based organogel for use in pH-mediated drug delivery†
Organogels prepared with vegetable oils as the liquid organic phase present an excellent platform for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic guest molecules. We disclose a graft copolymer comprised of a poly(L-serine) backbone linked to alkane side-chains by hydrolytically susceptible ester bonds, that is capable of gelating edible safflower oil. The thermoresponsive organogel formed, which is non-cytotoxic, is capable of withholding guest molecules before undergoing targeted disassembly upon incubation in solutions of acidic pH, permitting the directed release of payload molecules. The presented material offers an extremely promising candidate for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic agents within acidic environments, such as cancer tumour sites.